Every Thanksgiving long weekend, I find myself reflecting. Isn’t that most of us do during such holidays? We see numerous blog posts, articles, Tweets, Facebook statuses, Instagram photos and Pinterest boards dedicated to all the things, people, places and lessons we know we would be different without.
I suppose this post is a bit too on trend, but I’m writing it anyways.
Here are 10 things I’m thankful for. No, they’re not in any order:
(1) True Friends: You know, the ones who after years and years of friendship have your back, are honest with you, give you tough love, bicker with you, tease you but still never forget how to make you laugh, what to do with you when you’re feeling stressed and your favourite ice cream flavour. These friends celebrate moments with you, not because they have to, but because they want to. They need to. You’re as much a part of their life as they are of yours. Without these people, you wouldn’t be half the person you are today. These are the people you chose as a part of your family and will surely never regret doing so.
(2) My Insane Family: No one really understands my family. Why do we know everything about everyone? Why do we have get-togethers with everyone and their dog almost every other week? Why is it normal to feel pressure to eat everything on your plate, for fear that if you don’t, you’ll be deemed “sick” or accused of, God forbid, not liking something your grandmother slaved over? And, my personal favourite, why instead of showing only support, do we show all disappointment? Well, because we do. We do all these things because we put family first. We take off work months in advance because we know that our nine-year-old cousin is soon turning 10 and that his birthday party falls on the third weekend in October, every single year. We don’t make plans on the Saturday of the Easter long weekend because we know someone is having a barbecue. We spend hours on weekends going to every Italian grocery store in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) looking for San Benedetto water and once we find the cheapest price, we make about 15 phone calls until Zia, Zio, Nonna, Nonno and all 55 first cousins know about it and can either get some too, or ask us to get them some. I’m serious. Last week, it was on sale for $9.99 a case. My family was acting like Jesus had come again.
(3) Beyoncé: Did you honestly think I am not thankful for Beyoncé? She is painting her pinky nail pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she has the most beautiful voice, her thighs are to die for, she’s a diva but also super normal (I would know, we’re friends) and she’s creative.
(4) Creativity: Without creativity, how boring would life be? No really. How bleh would your room look? Your wardrobe? Your car? Your agenda? Your office/cubicle at work? Your nail polish? The title of your favourite book? I think I’ve said enough.
(5) Songs: This week at the gym, I couldn’t stop singing “Sam Malone” by City and Colour. Yes, out loud. There’s this one lyric that gets me going every time: “Do you think, do you honestly think that I would call just to hear you breathe?” That question can mean so much! And, to every person it might mean something different. Imagine a world without driving in the summer, windows down and music playing? Imagine no such thing as Abbey Road or Let It Be? Imagine watching a movie without a soundtrack. Yeah. There would be no point in watching anymore stupid chick flicks (I watched What to Expect When You’re Expecting on Friday night. It sucked. Watching it without a musical score would have been even more painful).
(6) Love: The simple signs of love and undying trust are probably the two most beautiful things, if I can call them that, on earth. One of my favourite simple signs: Wishing someone you care about a happy holiday. Something a simple as, “Happy Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for you in my life. Thank you!” is so beautiful, I can’t even find another word to describe it. It means so much to me when wishes and positive thoughts are sent out of pure desire and honesty. Another simple sign I adore: Turning around and seeing the person you care about there, smiling. Whether you’re at the baggage claim or living in the same house, this sign will never get old.
(7) Tea: The idea of drinking tea is so soothing. You’re sitting at your kitchen table, the sun is rising and the ground is moist from last night’s rain. The kettle just finished boiling and you’ve brewed your favourite cup. You’re taking sips, flipping through the newspaper and everything is quiet. This moment might only last a few minutes, but when those few minutes happen every morning, waking up is that much easier.
(8) Exercise: Whether I spend 10-minutes or five hours a week walking, running, lifting weights, doing yoga, squatting, lunging or dancing, exercise, for me, makes each day much more enjoyable. I consider the workouts I complete the most challenging part of every day, making all other hours seem easy. I also consider them the time in a day that I’ve devoted to myself. As someone with family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, etc. I want to do everything I can do be as healthy as possible and enjoy the life I was given.
(9) Good Books: Reading the first page of a new novel is a pretty risky task. What if the first paragraph is so confusing, awkwardly written and a run-on sentence full of metaphors you didn’t know could actually be metaphors? And then, what if you shut the book because that first paragraph turned you off so much, you just can’t continue? Then, you’ve spent money on this book that you don’t want to read any more, and even worse, you’ve started something you aren’t planning to finish. The best part about reading a good story, though, is when you can get past that first paragraph and become so involved in the plot that your subway commute in the morning doesn’t seem long enough, just because you can’t get enough of the book you’re reading.
(10) Dessert: I find so much satisfaction in sitting down and eating a slice of pie or cake, nibbling on a crumbly chocolate chip cookie, or dipping a biscotti into hot chocolate. When dessert is just the right amount of sweet, the perfect amount of crunchy and the type that makes your fork slip right into the tray for one more bite, you know there’s no shame in enjoying such a treat.
What are you most thankful for?